Lean Enterprise Division
August 2009 Highlights
2 Kitchen Kanban
4 The Power of Networking!
August 2009, Volume 8, Issu e 1
Chair’s Message
Hello Lean,
It is hard to believe but another World Conference on
Quality and Improvement has come and gone and here we
are now enjoying the summer months.
I would like to thank everyone who stopped by the LED
booth in Minneapolis, MN, and I would like to extend a
special thanks to those who joined us for our networking
session. It was great to meet so many of our LED members.
Now we are setting our sights on the Lean and Six Sigma Conference, March 8–9,
2010. Please note the name change, as this is a conference that offers many sessions
on lean. I hope to see many of our LED members in Phoenix, AZ, next March!
Thanks to the ongoing efforts of Frank Murdock, our membership chair, we have
started an initiative in which members of the LED Leadership Team are making
calls to new members to welcome them to the division and to also collect some
voice of the customer data. This has proved to be a very rewarding experience and
we have gained information on which the following requests are based from:
Articles and Case Studies – Please send any article or case study highlighting your
experiences(s) with lean to Wendy Gomez at wendy.gomez@danmer.com. Also, if
you are interested in writing an article and would like to share it with LED members,
contact Wendy. We will collect as many articles or case studies as we can to post on
the LED Web site at www.asq.org/le, or even publish in an upcoming newsletter.
Speakers Database – Members often look for someone to speak at a section
meeting or similar event but do not have any contacts. If you are interested in
speaking at these types of events, please contact me at waynepaupst@gmail.com.
Once we start to accumulate some names, we will initiate a database that all
members will be able to access to find potential speakers in their locations.
Facility Tours – If there are any organizations working with lean that are willing
to open their doors to tours or visits, please contact me at waynepaupst@gmail.com
with the company and its contact information. As with the speakers, we would like
to generate a database with the various organizations for everyone to access.
One final note: On September 11, 2009, Linda Milanowski, our ASQ Community
Development liaison in Milwaukee, WI, will observe her 20th year with the Society.
Linda not only works with us on the LED team but with many other divisions and
sections as well.
Congratulations, Linda, and thank you for all you do for us!
I wish you all a very safe and wonderful summer, and as always, thanks for
“leaning with us.”
Wayne Paupst
Chair, Lean Enterprise Division
2 Volume 8 Issue 1 August 2009
Kitchen Kanban
A “Lean in Life” Article
by Don Smith, CQIA
Many people think that using the tools of quality improvement, in general, and the tools
of lean process, in particular, to make things in your life easier is a difficult and daunting
thing to do. Based on my wife’s and my personal experience, I can assure you that using
some of the tools of lean to improve things in your life can be as easy as simply going to the
grocery store!
Unlike many of the tools of quality, which involve rigorous mathematical calculations, the
tools of lean processes are common sense methods for reducing the complexity, and waste,
in your life and making things easier.
One lean tool in particular that can make your life easier, and a little bit less expensive, is
Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia, offers the following definitions for
The Japanese word kanban (pronounced “kamban”) is a common everyday term
meaning “signboard” or “billboard” and utterly lacks the specialized meaning that
this loanword has acquired in English. According to Wikipedia, a “loanword” is a
word taken directly from one language into another, with little or no translation.
In English, kanban is a signaling system used to trigger particular actions. So that a
production process is never starved for the parts, or raw materials, the process needs
to support production without interruption. As its name suggests, kanban historically
uses cards to signal the need for an item. However, other devices such as plastic
markers (kanban squares), balls (often golf balls), empty part-transport trolleys,
empty part or material containers, or empty floor locations can also be used to trigger
the movement, production, or supply of parts, or raw materials in a factory.
How, you might ask, can kanban make my life easier, and/or less expensive? Let me explain
by giving you a simple real world example.
My wife and I both enjoy corned beef hash and eggs for breakfast. We don’t eat it every day,
but when we decide we want hash and eggs for breakfast, we don’t want to be disappointed.
How then can we make sure we have the necessary ingredients we need for our favorite
1. We could decide to go to a restaurant for breakfast whenever we want hash and
eggs. This alternative would involve additional cost for our breakfast and the
possibility of wasting time trying to find a restaurant that offers hash and eggs
as a menu item, and that has the proper raw materials in stock.
2. We could buy hash and eggs, by the case, so that we would always be sure
to have the raw materials for our favorite breakfast on hand when we wanted
that particular breakfast. Of course, this alternative significantly increases our
inventory carrying costs, and exposes us to the risk that the hash and/or eggs
we have in stock may have exceeded their respective shelf lives, and have
become unusable.
3. We could set up a system that would alert us when we are getting low on the
necessary ingredients for making our favorite breakfast, and that would trigger
the actions necessary for us to obtain more ingredients in anticipation of our
next breakfast “demand.”
Alternative no. 3 is where kanban comes into the picture. Instead of buying hash and eggs
by the case, we normally keep two cans of hash in our pantry and a dozen eggs in a seethrough
plastic container in our refrigerator. Here is our process:
Step 1. Having decided to make hash and eggs for breakfast, we remove a can of
hash, and the appropriate number of eggs (five when it’s just the two of us)
from the refrigerator, and make breakfast.
cont. on p. 3
Lean Enterprise Division
Wayne J. Paupst, chair
BES Consulting
Kiami Rogers, chair-elect
Maxim Integrated Products
Frank K. Murdock, VoC & membership
Kobalt Partners LLC
Robert M. Johnson, past chair
Tyco Fire Surpression & Bldg. Prod.
Robert W. Damelio, BoK & certification
The Bottom Line Group
David Behling, programs
Velvac, Inc.
Tammy Lynn Miller, secretary
Chad E. Vincent, treasurer
Baxter Healthcare
Wendy Gomez, newsletter editor
Danmer, Inc.
Alan Mendelssohn, discussion board
Resources Global Professionals
Don Smith, education
Net Results, Inc.
Adil Dalal, education
Pinnacle Process Solutions, Intl.
Linda Milanowski, staff liaison
American Society for Quality
Lean Enterprise
Discussion Board
The Lean Enterprise Discussion Board
allows members to share ideas, opinions,
and information about lean quickly and
easily. Organized by topics in an easyto-follow
format, the discussion board
is designed so you can quickly locate
information, find other knowledgeable
users, and participate in conversations.
By participating in a Lean Enterprise
Discussion Board, you can share your
expertise, learn from your peers, and
dialogue with other quality professionals.
You can access the Lean Enterprise
Discussion Board by visiting http://
So what are some of the recent topics
that members have asked questions
about and responded to?
•	 Is batch and queue sometimes OK?
•	 Setup reduction ideas
•	 Practical lean farming
•	 Lean Six Sigma initial deployment
•	 Green is the new lean
•	 News regarding the division
•	 Determining value-added steps
•	 Lean for SME in less developing
•	 Standard work templates
•	 Lean ISO
•	 Value Stream Mapping software
All discussion boards are open to any
ASQ member, even if you do not belong
to that particular division. A listing of all
boards can be found by logging onto
the ASQ Web site at www.asq.org and
on the left side under Knowledge Center,
click “Tools & Resources”, then “Quality
Resources”, and then “Discussion
Lean Enterprise Division Newsletter 3
Step 2. When we remove the can of hash from the pantry, an empty space appears
on the shelf. This empty space is the kanban that triggers adding hash to
the signboard (shopping list) posted on our refrigerator.
Step 3. When we remove the five eggs from the see-through container in the
refrigerator, empty spaces appear in the egg container. These empty spaces
are the kanban triggers adding eggs to the signboard (shopping list) posted
on our refrigerator.
Step 4. The next time we go to the store, typically once a week, we buy a
replacement can of hash and a half-dozen eggs, and restore the balance in
our kitchen inventory. The replenishment of this kitchen inventory fills in
the empty spaces that were the kanbans triggering resupply. At the same
time, we cross these two items off of the signboard (shopping list) posted
on our refrigerator.
These actions restore our inventory balance, and we are ready when the next demand
Note 1. You may wonder why we don’t further reduce our inventory carrying costs
by keeping only one can of hash and a half-dozen eggs, in inventory. The
answer is demand surge. If we have company for breakfast, or decide to
have hash and eggs twice before replenishing our inventory, we still have
sufficient inventory to cover the demand surge before we replenish our
Note 2. You may wonder why we replace the five eggs we used with six eggs. This
would suggest that we will keep building our egg inventory. There are a
couple of reasons for this. First, eggs purchased from our egg supplier
only come in half- and full-dozen lot sizes. Second, since I am not terribly
proficient in the kitchen, we frequently have losses in our egg inventory
that need to be cleaned up off the floor.
Where else, in your everyday life, might you be already applying the principles of kanban
without realizing it?
How about in your workshop or office? Normally, when you use fasteners, such as screws,
nuts, and bolts in your shop, and staples or paper clips in your office, you normally don’t
wait until your inventory is zero before you replenish your inventory. When your supply
of fasteners gets low, that low level of existing fastener inventory serves as the kanban
that triggers resupply actions, telling you to replenish your inventory. In fact, in our house
fasteners also wind up on the signboard posted on our refrigerator.
What we can see from these two simple examples is that, without realizing it, many of us
are routinely applying the principles of kanban in our everyday lives, and that application of
a lean process is helping us simplify our lives and reduce our inventory costs.
What other examples can you think of where the principle of kanban is helping you simplify
your life?
About the Author: Don Smith is chair of the Lean Enterprise Division’s
Education and Training Committee. In addition to his work with LED,
Smith is the director of training resources for Net Results, Inc., a small
global consulting company based in Prospect, KY. Smith is an ASQ
Senior member, holds advanced degrees in both industrial engineering
and education, and has extensive experience in process improvement and
technical training, including courses related to lean. You can reach him at
Kitchen Kanban cont. from p. 2
4 Volume 8 Issue 1 August 2009
The Power of Networking!
by Kiami Rogers, LED Chair-Elect
Have you experienced the power of networking? It has been
stated that only 2 to 5 percent of jobs are documented and
listed in some sort of publication, such as help wanted, job
boards, or Internet ads. Research studies have shown more
than 85 percent of all jobs are obtained through networking
and more than half of those are due to referrals from others.
Perhaps you are aware of slightly different statistics, but the
message is the same…there is power in networking!
A case in point…
When I was the chair of ASQ’s Dallas Section, I was e-mailed a request to post a job
description to our Internet site by another Dallas member. Upon posting the ad, I responded
with my own résumé for consideration, even though I was employed. Within a couple
of weeks, the hiring manager contacted me and asked me to stop into the office for an
interview for the posted job. During the interview, the hiring manager mentioned I would
be a good fit to fill a gap in the organization—a position that he was considering, but that
had not been documented. After the job position was created and approved, I became a
statistic: I am one of a large percentage of people who obtained an interview as a result of
my network and got a job offer as a result of a job position not publicized or documented.
Perhaps you have a similar story to share.
Whether a personal or professional network, whether online or in person . . . there is power
in networking!
If you are not networking, it is not too late. With more than 6,000 LED members
worldwide, just think of all those resources to tap into. We have created two social networks
for LED members to join in two different online venues: Facebook and LinkedIn. Chris
Anderson, the LED Internet liaison, is managing the Facebook network; I am managing
Did you know there are only two lean networks (solely lean concepts, not lean and Six
Sigma for example) on LinkedIn? I created the LinkedIn LED network in February. Thus
far, about 1,300 of the 6,000 LED members have joined. If you have not already done
so, please join us! The network has lively discussions, as well as news and job postings.
Request to join this network by logging in at http://www.linkedin.com/.
Come “lean with us!”
Kiami Rogers can be reached at krogers_asq@verizon.net.
Biographical Summary
Alan Mendelssohn
Alan Mendelssohn is a process
improvement consultant with Resources
Global Professionals. He has extensive
experience in the design, implementation,
and management of process
management, continuous improvement,
lean, and Six Sigma initiatives within
diverse industry settings.
Prior to joining Resources Global
Professionals, Mendelssohn spent 20
years in the electric utility industry
in a variety of cost engineering,
project management, and continuous
improvement positions. His involvement
in continuous improvement initiatives
began in 1983 while at Florida Power
and Light Company. CI initiatives have
been his full-time focus since 1991.
He also served as director of quality
for Budget Rent a Car and as director
of continuous improvement with AAR
CORP; he was responsible for all aspects
of continuous process improvement in
both organizations.
Mendelssohn has a master’s degree in
nuclear engineering, is an ASQ Senior
member, and is an ASQ Certified Six
Sigma Black Belt. He has authored
numerous papers and articles on process
improvement and project management
over the years and has also served a
number of years as an examiner for the
Baldrige Award at both the national and
state level.
Chad, Kiami, and Wayne received ASQ’s Quality Management Program award at the World
Conference on Quality and Improvement in Minneapolis.
Lean Enterprise Division Newsletter 5
Made-to-Order Lean
Greg Lane
Toyota Production System methods have
rendered remarkable results in highvolume
manufacturing plants, but they
have not been fully understood and
correctly applied in high-mix, low-volume
environments. While lean principles do
apply, the implementation methods and
tools must be adapted and alternate
methods embraced in a low-volume
Made-to-Order Lean is specifically
geared for manufacturers that have
hundreds to thousands of active part
numbers with few or no ongoing
forecasted volumes, and for job shops
that build only to order. The primary
focus is eliminating nonvalue-added
activities and instituting improvements
on the most repetitive jobs—a strategy
that gives you more time to produce your
low-volume work or one-offs.
Made-to-Order Lean is a must-have
for plant managers, manufacturing
managers, and lean practitioners who
need to apply lean principles effectively
in their job shops, re-manufacture/repair,
and high-mix, low-volume plants.
Item: P1315
Member Price: $52.95
Visit http://www.asq.org/quality-press
for more information or to order.
Join us for the 10th anniversary!
Lean and Six Sigma Conference
Phoenix, AZ • March 8–9, 2010
Whether you’re starting your Lean Six Sigma journey or you’re a skilled veteran,
this conference has invaluable skills to offer you. Ninety-five percent of the 2009
conference attendees say they would recommend this conference to others—and
we are confident the 2010 conference will deliver the latest in Lean Six Sigma tools,
methodologies, and solutions to eliminate waste and improve your organization’s
bottom line.
Learn from proven firsthand applications, technical applications, and best practices
in the concurrent sessions. The 2010 conference will also feature networking and
learning opportunities from sponsors and exhibitors from a variety of markets
addressing various levels of experience.
“ASQ’s Lean and Six Sigma Conference offers consistently strong
agendas of relevant topics and knowledgeable and interesting speakers
wrapped in a great venue with lots of networking opportunities.”
—Deborah Neuscheler, Fritsch, NJ
Delivering Global Value and Excellence
Through Lean and Six Sigma
Learn more at http://sixsigma.asq.org.
U.S. Postage
Milwaukee, WI
Permit No. 5419
Lean Enterprise Division | August 2009 | Volume 8, Issue 1
Note From
the Editor
“Pleasure in the job puts perfection in
the work.”
Aristotle (384 BC – 322 BC)
As Wayne mentioned in his Chair’s
Message, our ASQ Community
Development liaison Linda Milanowski
will be observing her 20th year with ASQ. Living in such an
ever-changing and fast-paced world, long-term commitments have
become somewhat elusive if not challenging. I wanted to take this
opportunity to also recognize and thank Linda for all of her help
with the newsletter and our division. While much of her work on the
newsletter is behind the scenes, it truly would not be able to come
together without her help, knowledge, and expertise. Congratulations,
Linda on reaching such a wonderful milestone!
Best regards,
Wendy Gomez
Please consider the environment.
Do you really need a paper copy of this
newsletter? Please send a message to
lmilanowski@asq.org with “Electronic Only”
in the subject line.